Posts tagged ‘sales rank’

Dead Man’s Hand

Dead Man's HandA few days ago, I posted about the repeating digits that had been occurring in the Amazon sales rank of Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. For three days in a row, a repeating digit occurred three times in the sales rank each day.

The story continues.

On August 1, it happened again… but something cooler happened, too. The sales rank of MJ4MF on August 1 was 88,111. Though sad in regards to book sales, it’s numerically fantastic! Not only does it contain a digit that repeats three times (1), the other digit (8) repeats twice, and — hold on to your hat! — the repeated digits 8 and 1 occurred on the date 8/1!

Amazon Sales Rank - August 1

Does it get any cooler than that?

Well, maybe. It might have been a little cooler if the rank were 8,111, which would match the full date 8/1/11.

But 88,111 could also be thought to represent a “Dead Man’s Hand” in poker. Officially, a Dead Man’s Hand contains a pair of aces and a pair of eights, but many sources also use the term to refer to a full house with aces over eights.

What did the geometrician say when someone took his playing cards?

This reminds me of a poker game that I played with an engineer and a statistician. In the middle of the second hand, the police raided the game. An officer asked the engineer, “Were you gambling?”

The engineer replied, “No, officer, I was not gambling.”

The officer then asked the statistician, “What about you?”

The statistician replied, “No, officer, I was not gambling, either.”

Finally, the officer turned to me. “Were you gambling?” he asked.

I replied, “By myself?”

August 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm Leave a comment

Coming Up Through the Ranks

Author CentralThrough some special features at Amazon Author Central, I am able to know the daily sales rank of Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. My sales rank at the end of each of the last three days was 44,404, 96,990, and 35,355, respectively. I thought that was interesting — three days in a row when the sales rank was a five-digit number in which one digit occurred at least three times. What’s the likelihood of that? Stated more formally:

Assuming that the sales rank of MJ4MF is always a five-digit number, what is the probability that three consecutive days’ sales ranks will contain a digit that occurs in the sales rank at least three times?

The sales rank of MJ4MF has never been a five-digit number in which the same digit is repeated five times. (Bummer!) The probability of that occurrence, though, is even less likely than the situation described above — though I won’t tell you exactly how much less likely, so as not to spoil your fun!

July 30, 2011 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

About MJ4MF

The Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks blog is an online extension to the book Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks. The blog contains jokes submitted by readers, new jokes discovered by the author, details about speaking appearances and workshops, and other random bits of information that might be interesting to the strange folks who like math jokes.

MJ4MF (offline version)

Math Jokes 4 Mathy Folks is available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, NCTM, Robert D. Reed Publishers, and other purveyors of exceptional literature.

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